Town Square

Mountain View poised to roll out RV ban this month, prohibiting oversized vehicles on most city streets

Original post made on Jul 6, 2021

In the coming weeks, Mountain View will begin the long task of installing close to 2,600 "no parking" signs across the majority of the city's streets, banning RVs and oversized vehicles from parking along public roadways.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, July 6, 2021, 1:37 PM


Posted by Tim
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 6, 2021 at 3:38 pm

Tim is a registered user.

Banning RVs and oversized vehicles is a cruel mistake. Where are those people going to go, Mountain View? RV dwellers are the same folks who work in our grocery stores, dry cleaners, coffee houses, restaurants, and so on. They are not homeless, they're houseless. Rents are outrageously high. Those RVs are their homes. Due to high gasoline costs, for many, commuting is not an option. Mountain View needs to prove it can be more compassionate.

Posted by PeaceLove
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 6, 2021 at 4:32 pm

PeaceLove is a registered user.

Humans: "What should we do about all our fellow citizens who have nowhere to live, or who have ended up living in mobile housing?"

Late-stage capitalism: "Criminalize homelessness, displace those in mobile housing because 'out of sight, out of mind.'"

I note the MV Voice just casually slid in the phrase, " to access the city's safe parking sites, which have been at or near full capacity over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic." In other words, "We're kicking them out even though we acknowledge they have no place to go."

Homelessness is a multifactorial problem that can't be solved at the city level, or probably even the county level. But actively harming our homeless brothers and sisters is pathological and cruel.

Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 6, 2021 at 5:17 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

Don’t forget that this was prompted by a vote by the people of Mountain View. The same people that vote to keep California a one-party state with all the attached problems. I urge those of you that opposed this measure to open up your personal resources to these “houseless” people in need. You can allow them to park in your driveway and provide them with water, power, and access to a sanitary sewer. You can invite them to live in your home. Surely you have a spare bedroom? Instead of complaining about the will of the voters, perhaps offer a solution?

Posted by catabyte
a resident of another community
on Jul 6, 2021 at 11:03 pm

catabyte is a registered user.

Hm. Maybe time for the city to take that $1M per unit cost for affordable housing off of Shoreline and build an RV-only parking garage on that land instead? Charge $100/month to park there?

Posted by Tal Shaya
a resident of another community
on Jul 7, 2021 at 6:15 am

Tal Shaya is a registered user.

The mistake was allowing the homeless to park in the first place. The area between the day laborers and Rengstorff Park is an eyesore. And apparently, free parking will be allowed on 75 city streets. Now you've got an army of homeless people that you invited here.

I said I would live in Mountain View until the crime got out of control. Well, a guy was arrested for murder at the Valero on the corner, and a woman was found dead at Icon Theater, just a few steps away. City leaders want to turn Mountain View into another wealthy metropolis full of crime and violence. I'll be moving on.

Posted by PeaceLove
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 7, 2021 at 2:49 pm

PeaceLove is a registered user.

Greg: Large societal problems can't be solved by individuals and suggesting otherwise in a "reduce to the ridiculous" proposition is a quasi-Libertarian bad-faith argument.

Tal: The woman found dead at the Icon Theater was a probable suicide, not a crime victim.

Your term "another wealthy metropolis full of crime and violence" is oxymoronic. Crime and violence are found in poor areas, not wealthy ones.

Unfortunately, an emergent property of our late-stage capitalism is that wealth gets concentrated ever-upward while increasingly large swaths of the population become poorer and more desperate. Any proposed "solution" that aims to punish and exclude poor people rather than addressing the societal and structural causes of their poverty is destined to expand and target an ever-increasing share of the population.

Posted by Peter
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 7, 2021 at 10:24 pm

Peter is a registered user.

I welcome the day when Mountain View is no longer a destination for RVs from other City's and Counties, taking advantage of our City's liberal policies. Our City has done so much for RV's by creating safe parking sites. But thats not enough, and never will be with the take, take, take mentality: Give an inch, take a mile!
Here's an idea: Those who complain, and who own a house, can open their driveway for an RV to safely park; but I very much doubt that they will.

Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 8, 2021 at 9:39 am

Linda Curtis is a registered user.

No one is “homeless” when living in their cozy, energy efficient home-on-wheels. Let them be!!!

Posted by Parks
a resident of Castro City
on Jul 8, 2021 at 11:56 am

Parks is a registered user.

I really feel like this article is one-sided. There is no mention of the very real safety issues having RV's lining our parks, blocking our bike lanes and leaking sewage has been having on our community. These are not trivial issues and they deserve a place in the discourse. This is a complex issue and our local journalists would do better to give some space to the reasons why the (very liberal) voters of MV passed this ordinance.

Posted by lan
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 9, 2021 at 3:48 pm

lan is a registered user.

And hopefully MVPD starts ticketing/towing abandoned vehicles. Huge problem on our street of cars and trailers that have not been moved in over a year.

Posted by Lenny Siegel2
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 10, 2021 at 12:20 pm

Lenny Siegel2 is a registered user.

@Parks. The so-called "Narrow Streets" ordinance, AKA Measure C, is different from the Bike-Lane ordinance. Housing Justice advocates did not oppose restrictions on oversized vehicles in bike lanes, so those have had signs for more than a year. Unfortunately, that hasn't kept delivery trucks from encroaching on the bike lanes.

To my knowledge, there is one park in Mountain View where people park motorhomes nearby: Rengstorff Park. If you talk to the vehicle residents there, you'll find that many park near the park because they want a place where their children can be outside.

As for leaking sewage, Mountain View has always enforced against that. It's better to have people living in vehicles with waste tanks than in cars or tents by the creeks.

Posted by MV neighbor
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 11, 2021 at 1:59 pm

MV neighbor is a registered user.

Rengsdorf was not the only city park affected. Until the bike lane ordinance was passed, Eagle Park was also encircled by RVs so that others could not access the park to play. Had the prior city council done anything to deal with the problems, like limit parking from anyone around city parks for 4 or 6 hours, the voters might not have been pushed to pass the current ordinance. It also caused a lot of traffic problems around that park as people tried to make turns onto Shoreline and couldn’t see around the line of oversized vehicles.

Posted by Lenny Siegel2
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 11, 2021 at 6:58 pm

Lenny Siegel2 is a registered user.

As I've said, I have no problems restricting large vehicles in bike lanes. But it's an exaggeration to say that motorhomes kept people from using Eagle Park.

Posted by Activist Socialist
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jul 11, 2021 at 11:10 pm

Activist Socialist is a registered user.

What a disgrace. NIMBYs are destroying this city one awful policy at a time. Time was that Mountain View was a welcoming city, but I guess the people here have decided we're better off turning into a gated community for the wealthy.

Posted by Tim
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 12, 2021 at 12:29 pm

Tim is a registered user.

After reading the responses to this article, here are thoughts to consider:

A recent article in the Los Altos Town Crier reported that the RV ban pertains to “narrow streets,” which account for 83 percent of the streets in Mountain View. This ban is bigger than the wishes and heavy-hand of one city. The issue is a humanitarian and infrastructure challenge. Granted, finding a way for everyone to live in harmony isn’t easy. But, one thing is clear: RV dwellers are NOT going away.

Perhaps big box stores and churches in the area could permit RVs to park during (and only during) the evening. This could provide safe, central areas for RV residents. The city could provide dumpsters and clean the parking lots early in the morning. In turn, the city could give the stores and churches a tax incentive for their willingness to accommodate the RVs.

Don’t think that will work? Well…

Since many Mountain View residents make huge salaries, perhaps the city should levy a local tax earmarked specifically to monetarily assist our RV neighbors in finding affordable apartments. It could be coordinated via Mountain View’s community services organization. This approach would get RVs off the streets. And frankly, you and I know that many RV dwellers would prefer to live in an apartment rather than parked on the street.

Posted by MV neighbor
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 12, 2021 at 1:04 pm

MV neighbor is a registered user.

Tim, everyone wishes there were simple solutions, but it is a very complicated problem. The prior city council did try an experiment called “Lots of Love” that recruited local churches to allow overnight vehicle parking on their lots. A handful of people were helped but they had to agree to have social services and some RV dwellers don’t want those services. Many also need to have 24 hour parking..they don’t have places to store their vehicles during the day if only offered overnight parking. The current city council did open 3 24 hour safe parking lots in partnership with county that seem to be heavily used and there are certainly good arguments for adding more, but even these lots have rules like proof of insurance etc and many RVs are rented, not owned by the residents. The city also just opened a new big prefab housing complex with 100 units for homeless...up and running in six months.

Posted by afp
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Jul 13, 2021 at 1:17 pm

afp is a registered user.

You should see the mess that these RV dwellers leave. They use the streets as their dumping ground. They use the sidewalk and the streets as well, as their living room. they have their folding chairs, sitting talking loudly. I do not have much empathy for them because they act as if it is their right to park there and create all the mess. To the people who support them, please open up your driveway and let them stay with you.

Posted by Stiv O
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 18, 2021 at 8:31 pm

Stiv O is a registered user.

I understand this is a complex issue. Sadly, I drive a van that I park on the street, and now I will have to park a long walk from my home and in an area that my van is probably going to get broken into. I also suspect that THAT parking space is going to sprout a "No parking 2am-6am" sign which is another way they can close down parking.
I do not live in my van, but I plan to travel. I use it to support the city as a Ham Radio Operator. This ordinance is going to really screw up my life, as having to park a 1/2 mile from your home kinda makes you stay at home a lot more, and then the van is subject to sitting longer than I like and might get towed anyway. Argh!